Many libertarians and other political thinkers use the terms “negative
rights” and ”positive rights” to refer to two classes of so-called
rights. The right of free speech is a “negative right” because it
involves a lack of restriction on an individual; the right to health
care is a “positive right” because it requires that some agency deliver
the “right” to the individual.
I have never liked this terminology, because from a libertarian point of
view, only the “negative rights” are legitimate; the others involve a
“right” to compel service from others, which infringes on *their*
rights. I have wanted for a while to find better terminology for this.
Reading about Jesse Jackson Jr.’s book and his eight proposed
Constitutional amendments (<URL:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_More_Perfect_Union:_Advancing_New_American_Rights >) got me thinking about this again.
What do you think about “nonrestrictive rights” for the freedom rights
and “compulsive rights” for privileges that compel service from others?
I really like the latter; I could use a better (upbeat, positive) term
for the former.